Hopedale to Nain

CAP’T LEM departed Hopedale in sunshine and fair winds from the east, but not before getting to wish my friend Jim from Goose Bay a happy 62nd birthday.  He had come to Hopedale from his cabin up the inlet in hopes of catching us.  He did.  We met at the fuel dock. The friends I’ve made in Labrador will be my friends forever.


With the wind off the quarter we threaded our way through countless islands large and small.  When we rounded Nunaksaluk Island the wind freshened and back to North East but we could make a new heading to the North West.  As the sun landed, so did the fog.  In these high latitudes in the summer the sun does not drop but slowly slides below the horizon landing like an airplane. With the dark and fog came more wind so the search was on for a suitable lee harbor.  The chart showed an anchorage behind an island at 56° 08’ 00.5”N ~ 60° 52’ 34.5”W.


The anchorage was good but not the best.  Enough wind made its way around the island to make the CAP’N LEM dance on her string.  The morning proved no better with the addition cold rain.  We upped the anchor and headed around the island.  Clear of the lee it was even worse than we had hoped.  To fight a storm large or small if caught out in is one thing, but to go out in a storm from a safe anchorage is quite another.  Back to a different anchorage close by we went to spend another night dancing to the gust that wrapped themselves around the point and into out harbor of refuge.  By nightfall, perhaps it should read “by night rise” for that it seems was what happened, the night rose up engulf us and the wind veered enough to add a swell to the chop. Still the anchor held in the good sticky mud.  Sleep was fitful, waking every 15 minutes to check the position.  But that’s what a captain does in a strange anchorage with a rocky lee shore in a gusty wind. 


The only relief that Sunday morning brought was the wind had continued to veer to the east making the anchorage even more uncomfortable.  But it would give us a good run on the beam once clear of our protector the little no-name island on the Labrador Coast.  We battled tacked to gain the headroom to make the point.  Three tacks and Ken steered us onto our planned route with the wind strong but abaft the beam and we were on our way to Nain.


A windy anchorage

A windy anchorage

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